Welcome to the final Ag Chat newsletter for the year which is again offering advice, seasonal updates and information for landholders on what is happening at Western LLS across all areas of agriculture.
Gemma Turnbull — Team Leader based in Bourke
Tanisha Shields — Senior Land Services Officer based in Balranald
Claudia Bryant — Land Services Officer based in Broken Hill
Luke Stacey — Senior Land Services Officer based in Buronga
Max Brownlow — Senior Field Officer based in Broken Hill
See the contact details for the team at the end of this newsletter.
Exclusion fencing: costs and benefits webinar
Landholders in Western NSW may be interested in an upcoming webinar that is exploring the costs and other considerations associated with exclusion fencing, featuring case studies from producers in Western NSW.
Morgan Gronold from the Central Western Queensland Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) is the presenter for this event which is being supported by the NSW and Australian Governments.
Sheep nutrition in pastoral NSW webinar
Landholders may also be interested in this Sheep Connect NSW webinar that takes a look into livestock management in the rangelands. Traditionally livestock producers in the pastoral zone have managed varying seasonal conditions by flexing stocking rates and carrying capacity, however with higher replacement ewe prices, alternate strategies such as containment feeding are gaining popularity.
In this webinar join Rob Inglis, Livestock Production Manager with Elders, as he discusses the nutritive values of the most common perennial and annual species in the rangelands as well as strategies to manage seasonal variability and climate change.
Resistance issues in flystrike treatments
With the warm weather upon us and the presence of thunderstorms in some areas, it is important to give some thought to flystrike risk in your flock. Recently there has been some publicity relating to the presence of resistance to some of the more common flystrike treatments, cyromazine and dicyclanil.
Resistance testing has shown that blowfly samples found to be resistant to dicyclanil or cyromazine had increased from the survey last done in 2013. The presence of resistance on your property would most likely result in shorter periods of protection than what could normally be expected, rather than a complete loss of effectiveness. In saying this however, it is now more important than ever that flocks are closely monitored and consideration is made to modify flystrike management programs if you have outbreaks that are difficult to manage and control.
Utilising other management strategies such as shearing and crutching can help reduce the length of time required for reliance on chemical prevention. When shortened protection periods are observed, often this is due to poor application or failure to follow label instructions, so it is important to check the label and ensure application methods are correct. Exposure to sub-lethal doses of chemical through incorrect application or dose rates are a significant contributor to resistance development. If you do suspect resistance, notify the manufacturer of your flystrike chemical.
Consideration should also be given to treatments for other parasites, particularly lice treatments. Exposure to insecticides used for the treatment of lice can contribute to resistance selection in blowflies, and vice versa. Therefore, it is important to use a different chemical group to treat lice and flies where possible.
For more advice on managing flystrike or resistance issues, contact your local Ag Team member or click here to visit the Fly Boss website.
Technology in Ag — eSpade
eSPADE is a Google Maps-based information system that allows users easy, no-cost, map-based access to a wealth of soil and land information from across NSW. eSPADE provides access to information published by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, including soil profile and map information and data, reports and images, with the information primarily sourced from the NSW Soil and Land Information System (SALIS). This software offers users maps of all major soil features across NSW, over 73,000 observations of landscape and soil features, reports on landforms, soils, erosion and vegetation and much more.
“Australia has some of the poorest soils in the world, so it is really important to know where our best soils are, where are our worst soils are, and what we can do with them sustainably without causing them damage.” Humphrey Milford, Soil Scientist with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
eSPADE can help producers maximise grazing efficiency and determine what crops to plant and where, leading to a competitive advantage in agricultural land use. As the world’s population increases, it is important to know what areas must be protected and managed sustainably. Whether using a mobile phone, computer or iPad, users can use eSPADE to access information across the state on NSW soils and land from wherever they are.
For a better understanding of the ways this online tool can help your business,click here to visit the eSpade site or contact a member of the Ag team.
Know your cactus — Boxing Glove
What is it?
Boxing Glove cactus (Cylindropuntia fulgida var. mamillata) is a spiny branching shrub that grows up to 1.5 meters high. It has unique looking stems (also known as cladodes) that twist and bend, sometimes looking like boxing gloves. Its stems are fleshy, spiny, lumpy and green to grey. Its spines are 0.7-2 cm long, flowers are deep red, and fruits are green and egg-shaped. It is native to south-western parts of the USA and northern Mexico, however, is now a weed infesting arid and semi-arid areas across NSW, Queensland, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Why is it a problem?
The drought resistant Boxing Glove cactus spreads by its easily detachable pads, which fall close to the plant or attach to animals, humans, machinery and vehicles by their spines. Pads can take root wherever they fall, and floodwaters can move them long distances. Boxing glove cactus damages natural environments by excluding and out-competing native plants. They also:
kill wildlife if they get stuck in the spines
get stuck around the mouth of lambs and calves and stop them from feeding
devalue wool and hides
prevent shearing because of the spines in the wool
dense thickets of this cactus restrict the movement of animals and people, so that:
livestock cannot move to access feed
mustering is difficult
access to watering points is reduced
recreation such as bushwalking or bird watching is restricted.
Boxing Glove cactus can also provide harbour for pests including foxes and rabbits.
What to do?
This weed is classified as a Weed of National Significance. It must be controlled, eliminated and minimised under the Biosecurity Act 2015 due to the threat that it imposes on the natural environment. This weed can be controlled via the release of biocontrol agents (cochineal), by digging then burning or burying, or by using a registered herbicide.
For more information on the use of cochineal as a biocontrol agent, or to discuss other possible options for controlling this weed on your property, please contact a member of the Ag team. Click here for further information which is available on the NSW DPI website.
In case you missed it
The Ag and wider LLS team would like to acknowledge the contributions of Luke Stacey who has been with us for the last 12 months or so and is finishing up in mid-January 2022. Luke has been a valued member of the team, working with local growers, landholders, community members and stakeholders predominantly in the Sunraysia area, while also having input into programs and projects throughout the region. We thank Luke for his efforts and wish him all the best for 2022 and beyond.
Managing ewes and pastures leading into summer (webinar recording)
This webinar was recorded on 27 October with Geoff Duddy from Sheep Solutions presenting.
In this webinar, Geoff covers a number of topics including:
feed values — what are they now
ewe requirements — how to achieve the best joining result
strategies — meeting ewe requirements.
For further information about any of the Ag Chat webinars give Tanisha a call.
Ag Chat taking a break over Christmas
Thanks to everyone that has enjoyed reading their monthly Ag Chat newsletter. We are very appreciative of the feedback and input you have provided to the team over the year. We are now taking a break over Christmas and will be back with more from early 2022. All the best for a safe and Merry Christmas for you and your family.
Until next time...
Thanks for reading this newsletter. We encourage you to save the contact details for Gemma, Tanisha, Claudia, Luke and Max and feel comfortable to contact them if you have any questions about your enterprise from an agricultural perspective.
The Ag team is always working to bring projects, events and information that is current and relevant to all landholders in the Western region. This can be in the form of face to face events, online webinars, fact sheets, case studies, newsletter articles and social media updates. If there are any topics you want covered or questions answered in the next edition of Ag Chat, simply hit reply or contact one of the team.